Re: A quick thanks and another question :)

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Posted by Maureen on July 26, 2002 at 23:11:27:

In reply to: A quick thanks and another question :) posted by Kelly on July 26, 2002 at 20:02:30:

Hi Kelly,

I don't do the fairs and festivals and such but do have people come
to me for Mehndi. So a lot of the same things are required...I just
don't have to change the environment.

I have Catherine's, Henna: The Joyous Body Art Book, Part I, her
Native American Patterns and Designs, her patterns and paper, Id al-
Adha and some patterns I have downloaded from her website from time
to time. I also have Alex Morgan's book Africa and her Tribal
Patterns. Along with these I have some other patterns from other
books available. I keep some sheets in those plastic sheets in a
three ring note book. Those in those plastic sheets are primarily
chosen by people who one one pattern put on their ankle. Nothing
really elaborate but I like to keep a lot of those available to be
chosen from.

I get a requests mainly for ankle, wrist (bracelets and cuffs), leg
and back designs. That is what people call and make the appointment
asking for. However, when they see Catherine's book, they do
sometimes change their minds and want the hand designs. It is
strange how full hand and foot designs are not big at all around here
for the typical customer. But I do find that having all sorts of
designs and patterns in books help people clarify in their minds what
sort of design they want. And usually they want some combination of
a symbol or design from a book and leave it up to me to freehand the
rest in according to what makes it look best on the body part they
want henna'd.

I have done enough fairs, festivals, etc., that were not henna
related and workshops and gatherings that are henna related to know
that I would not have nearly so many choices available when doing
large crowds. After awhile you will be able to begin to read the
crowd at an event to get some idea of the sort of designs that will
be in demand and what the right price point will be. You want a nice
selection and variety of designs and patterns to choose from but not
so many as people begin to get befuddled and can't decide and hold up
your line while hogging the books. Also, do invest in those plastic
sheets to put your pages of designs in. People seem to not mess the
sheets up prior to getting the henna design. But I have had people
mess up some of my books and and sheets and smear the paste on their
designs while browsing through the books while waiting for their
henna to dry and be sealed. And little children with stick fingers
from ice cream and candy just love to touch everything...including
your sheets and books. So plastic helps...I learned the hard way.

I agree with Lauren, if you are going to have photographs, make sure
they look professional and show the design well and are composed
well. I spend almost no time on the photographing of designs end of
the henna business. That is another skill entirely. You can see
from some of the pictures that people post on the forum when someone
is not just good at the art of Mehndi, but are also very good at
photography and can compose a really professional looking picture.
If you are going to use photographs, you really want to make sure the
photo reflects your work in the best possible way. Or skip the
photographs completely. People will choose from the drawings and
books with no problem and won't miss the option of the photographs.
And sometimes people will look at a photograph and say they want that
particular color stain. There are just too many variables involved
to be able to assure someone is going to get the exact color stain
that appears in the photo...including the inability of photography to
exactly replicate the colors that exist in real life.

When you are just starting out, start with what is basic and
necessary and over time you will add and build on to your selections
and your ability to manage and keep control of the books and other
items you have on your table and in your booth. The more you have
available the more you have to manage and control...and the more you
are having to manage and control what is on your table and in your
booth, the more you are distracted from doing the designs.

Good luck and have fun may your heart and hand be guided.



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